Decluttering Books


It seems as though on my many decluttering sprees, I’ve managed to miss the book case. I’ve got numerous books on there, with subjects ranging from nutrition to green living to aviation. The fact is, I haven’t read most of these books in months, and here they are taking up valuable space in my office. When I try to get rid of them, I look at the book and think “hmm, this might come in handy some day.” The book I looked at was a breastfeeding book that my mom gave me that must have been hers from the late 1970s. Um, yeah.

So I decided that I would go through my books and decide what I wanted to do with them. Some of them I really don’t want to part with yet, so those I’ll keep. But what about the books that I don’t want any more? What should I do with those? I came up with a few ideas.

Sell books on, Amazon, or eBay.

When I sell books on or a similar site, I make a few bucks in the process and gain valuable space.  It’s really easy to list books on  All you do is put in the ISBN number and it pulls up the title!  Awesome.  Sometimes the books aren’t worth enough money to make it worth my time, so I don’t bother.

Share your old books with friends

Some of the books I knew one of my friends would like, I kept back and dropped them off at her house when I was able to.  She appreciated that!

Donate books to the library or schools

The libraries are generally very appreciative of book donations, and you are helping many people enjoy the books over and over again!

What do you do with your old books?

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11 thoughts on “Decluttering Books

  1. Liz says:

    I use or the used bookstore near my house. PB Swap will give you credits for ones you mail out and the used book store will do cash or (more) credit.


  2. Megan says:

    There’s a local bookstore called Half Price Books that will buy books. You don’t always get much, but I generally use the money I do get to buy a new book. Since you don’t get much for paperbacks or not-so-popular books (they have to sell the books at half the publisher’s price, so they can’t give you a ton) I get maybe 1 or 2 new books for every 5 books I bring in, which still generates space.


  3. Becky R says:

    when I started to declutter years ago the hardest thing to get rid of was my books. But the best part is after getting rid of over a $1,000 worth of books I find it very hard to buy a new book.
    My book shelf is limited to my end table which can hold about 15 books. And my boys have a bookshelf with 2 shelves each.
    If we buys a used book an old one has to go.
    But I still love books, just use library and get them used a lot more.


  4. Retro_Housewife says:

    I love using Paperback Swap,, or to declutter my old books. What I love about Powells is that they pay for shipping! The only downside is that their inventory rotates pretty frequently, and they usually only take about 30% of what I have to sell.

    On the upside, though, both Abundatrade and Powells have an online estimator, so you get a good idea of what you’ll be getting for each book. I was especially excited because I was able to sell some VHS tapes and cassettes to Abundatrade, too – I had no idea anyone would buy those, but Abundatrade offered a few bucks for each of them.


  5. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    Other than college texts, I’ve never gotten rid of any books. BUT, this is because I only buy ones that I want to keep. I use the library a lot (more than 100 books a year) and don’t have a gigantic book collection.

    If I did have some extras, I’d try asking friends and family first, Ebay or Amazon second, then probably Freecycle, and the library last since our library is pretty strict on what books they can resell…they actually have to throw away anything that isn’t a certain condition or better.


  6. Aury (Thunderdrake) says:

    Personally, I would prefer to donate my books. Especially if they’re in decent enough condition. Amazon makes the process a tad arduous, and I feel a tad more philanthropic by giving to the library. I always felt giving money is a little bit in vain (namely because I question bureaucratic financial illiteracy) so giving away commodities that the people would benefit with seems a lot more reasonable.


  7. Rainy-Day Saver says:

    I’ve used with some success — they are pretty picky about what they’ll take, even if the book is less than a year old. But they pay for the shipping. I’d love to take a look at some of the other options like

    The other problem I come across is that I get a lot of advance copies through my workplace. Since they’re not the final-final versions, I can’t really do anything with them as far as donating to libraries and the like. I try to swap with friends when I can.


  8. H Lee D says:

    I used to sell them on Amazon, but then two things happened: they stopped offering Amazon credit as a means of getting paid (I don’t want to give them my bank account number), and it costs more to ship them than they give me credit for.

    Now I take them to a used book store nearby and get store credit.

    Occasionally, I’ll give them to friends or family, if I know someone who might like what I’m purging.


  9. Jewel says:

    There are lots of places in the internet where you can sell your used books and earn cash. Craigslist is one good place to sell bulk used books. You may also sell them in Ebay or Amazon.

    Check out this blogsite and learn how you can turn your cluttered books into money.

    http://www.sellyourbooksonline. com/index


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Jewel- Thanks so much for giving me that info! I’ll definitely check it out next time I’d like to sell some books!


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